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Essex healthcare trust updates telephony with SIP service


Mark Say Managing Editor

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has updated its telephony estate with a new session initiation protocol (SIP) service.

EPUT building entrance sign

It has recently completed the deployment of a service from Cinos based on Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager, along with the installation of 1,500 Cisco handsets.

This has replaced some legacy services, notably BT Featurenet lines and an integrated services digital network (ISDN), with two new SIP channels.

Cinos said this has given the trust – which provides community health, mental health and learning disability services – sufficient capacity to migrate away from ISDN services altogether, while reducing the number of dedicated telephone lines and providing the scope to carry out upgrades with minimal disruption.

Previously, all connections at the trust were made through ISDN services with every site using its own circuit. It was costly to maintain and, in the event of a failure, EPUT would have to wait for the service provider to restore the system.

Legacy difficulties

David Lawrence, associate director of IT strategy, technical projects at EPUT, said: “Having multiple legacy services made things difficult.

“For example, if employees wanted to place a call from one site to another, in some instances they would be able to do that as an extension call at zero cost – as it’s on the same network. But at other sites, calls would be placed between different networks, meaning they were off-net and incurring charges.”

He added: “With the majority of the organisation now on the Cisco UC Manager system we’re able to route more calls over our IP infrastructure and employees can make calls to each other’s extension lines at zero cost. The combination of lower line rental costs and reduced call per minute charges has generated savings.”

Image from EPUT

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